by Dr. Beverly Nelson, PhD, Director & Founder
It’s no secret that creating retreat centers is a passion of mine. The vision has never left me. In 1983, I helped to create a community retreat center called “Nexus” outside of Memphis, Tennessee. I, and a group of “healers”, built a Geodesic dome (on 30 acres) for our main building. We also had a health clinic, homes where some people lived, a sweat lodge, horses, an acre of organic gardens (which supplied the local health food store), etc. etc. We had 125 members who came for events, healing in the clinic, workshops, sessions with practitioners, etc. The co-founder (Dr. Sharon Scandrett-Hibdon) and I eventually were taken to court by some local residents who believed we were witches due to the conservative nature of that area! Can you believe it?? We won, but it was a difficult time. I look back on it now with fond, nostalgic memories, but it was quite a challenge. During that time, I also completed my Ph.D., to lend more credibility to what we were doing.
Eventually, I moved to Dallas, Texas (due to a Ph.D. residency requirement for me) and I quickly got involved with a spiritual/healing community there. In 1990, I created The Health Institute. It was noted as the first complementary (holistic) health center, of its kind in the world. There were 22 practitioners who practiced alternative health under one roof and we frequently fought off the government due to restrictions for alternative health practices and herbal remedies. I also partnered with nutritionist, Gary Null, and we held retreats for people with health issues in a beautiful retreat center on the countryside. Additionally, I traveled around the world helping others to set up alternative health centers, and speaking internationally on the subject. It was a crazy, wonderful time marking the beginnings of the alternative health movement.
I met my business partner and friend, Joseph Dispenza, in the US in 1998, because I was leading personal growth tours around the world (Bali, Galapagos Islands, Peru, Mexico, etc.) and he had written a book called “The Way of the Traveler”. A mutual friend, who was also my tour operator, introduced us. We began collaborating due to similar interests and wrote several joint articles, etc. At some point, we decided to create a retreat center in Mexico and together picked San Miguel de Allende. I believed in the concept that people grow most when they are out of their comfort zones (i.e. travel, foreign country, death, physical challenges, etc.). I am a Psychologist and I had years of experience with the retreat concept. Joseph was a former monk and author, and he had always wanted to create a retreat center where people could come for reflection. So, in the year 2000, LifePath Center was born.
When we first moved to San Miguel, we held retreats, etc. in a small location and offered classes, workshops, and treatments by a handful of practitioners. In 2010, we moved to a larger place where we could have more practitioners and guest rooms for our retreatants. We also wanted to create a community of healers and a community center for healing. The thought of people coming to a vibrant community, integrative healing center to visit healers and to participate in Yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, meditation, etc. excited us. So, we found the lovely, 300 year-old hacienda that we are in right now and we moved our center into it.
In 2011, Joseph was diagnosed with cancer and decided to retire from LifePath Center. He led a productive and happy life from then and until his passing on July 13th, 2015. Read more about Joseph here.
In the past three years, I’ve created my dream. It is my mission. We now have 18 practitioners offering a variety of services and classes. We also have 4 guest rooms where people come for retreats and to partake in our services. We offer a full Integrative Health program where people can come and be seen by a team of practitioners. And, we enjoy a solid reputation of being the largest and most comprehensive healing center in Mexico. People come from all over the world to utilize our services and we also have a large, local population who come frequently and consider this as their “home” for healing. So, my passion continues and the vision to create a healing space for others is still alive. Hope you can come for a visit!